Known as a Maoist bastion in the hills of south Chhattisgarh, Abujmarh, where two state security personnel were killed in a face-off with guerrillas on Wednesday, the people are being taught by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to follow the lockdown norms to beat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The credit goes to the CRPF”s 195 Battalion that has broken the local languages barrier to teach social distancing, hand sanitising and home stay to tribals, living in hamlets deep in hilly, forested Abujmarh, which is larger than Goa in terms of area.
Spread over 1,500 sq miles (3,900 sq km), covering Narayanpur, Bijapur and Dantewada districts, Abujmarh is home to indigenous tribes — Gond, Muria, Abuj Maria and Halbaas.
It was only in 2009 the Chhattisgarh government lifted restrictions, imposed in the early 1980s, on the entry of common people to the area.
Geographically isolated and largely inaccessible, the area continues to look bereft of the civil administration, and is also known as ”liberated-zone”. It”s an alleged hub of Maoists, the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and its military wing, People”s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), which runs a parallel administration there.
Strengthening fight against the coronavirus, the CRPF”s 195 Battalion took upon itself the task of protecting tribals from Covid-19 by making them aware of precautions. The CRPF has succeeded in teaching lockdown norms and Covid-19 precautions to people in over 60 villages.